Feasting Florida

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Of Bees and Honey

Of Bees & Honey

Honey is made from flower nectar; the type of honey depends on the type of nectar source. It consists of fructose and glucose. Nectar is 75% water, with many minerals in it.

Apiculture is the science of beekeeping. It dates back to 700 BC. In mythological times, it was a symbol of life and wealth, attributing to medicinal properties. Honey was used as a purifier, antiseptic, skin toner, a sedative, a digestive aid, to reduce fevers, and stimulate the appetite. The oldest know record of honey harvesting is a 7000 BC rock painting in Spain.

Honey was the most important sweetener of the Middle Ages. It was used as a condiment. In Greek mythology, it played an important role. Native Americans used only honey as a sweetener until the import of sugar cane. They also used it as a preservative, a cooking liquid, and for its medicinal properties.

Since the science of beekeeping is known as apiculture, the hive structure is known as apiary. Bees actually use honey as a source of nourishment.

So How do we get Honey?

The worker bees gather nectar and pollen from flowers.When the bees collect pollen, the pollen will stick to the bees legs because bees are negatively charged. The bees won't mix varietals within their hives. It is sorted by color and type. It is very possible that their could be more than one type of honey in each hive. When the weather drops below 50ºF, the production of honey slows greatly.